Workouts for Busy Dads: You CAN Find the Time for Exercise!

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

workouts for busy dads

Everybody is busy; that's no excuse! But, with workouts for busy dads, you CAN fit exercise into your busy schedule!

Fast workouts you can do at home or the office with minimal equipment help you achieve or maintain the muscular physique you deserve.

By adding mini muscle-sculpting exercises to your daily routine, you can increase muscle mass and your body's calorie expenditure.

Working out doesn't have to involve a huge time commitment. Any type of exercise is better than skipping workouts!

Exercise and stay active as often as possible throughout the course of each day, even if it's not structured exercise.

Aim to work out for at least 20 minutes every day of the week.

Additionally, keep your body moving for at least 45 minutes and add mini sculpting exercises into your in-office and home-life routine.

Keep reading for some great workouts for busy dads you can start today!

Want some simple ways to improve your health today? Try these 5 lifestyle tweaks!


Workouts for Busy Dads

If you desire quick, easy workouts for busy dads, consider the sample fat-burning, muscle-building exercise plans below!

Circuit Training

To burn body fat and get shredded, consider this simple circuit training workout for busy dads that you can complete from the comfort of home:

2-Minute Warm-Up

  • Do jumping jacks or jog in place for 2 minutes to warm up your muscles.

First Circuit

  • 1 minute of high knees
  • 15 seconds of rest
  • 1 minute of rope jumping
  • 15 seconds of rest
  • 1 minute of alternating jumping lunges
  • 15 seconds of rest
  • 1 minute of mountain climbers
  • Move on to the second circuit

Second Circuit (with Dumbbells)

  • 1 minute of squat to press
  • 15 seconds of rest
  • 1 minute of triceps kickbacks
  • 15 seconds of rest
  • 1 minute of biceps curls
  • 15 seconds of rest
  • 1 minute of walking dumbbell lunges
  • 15 seconds of rest

Repeat Circuits 1 and 2

  • Repeat the first circuit
  • Repeat the second circuit
  • Repeat the first circuit again (optional)
  • Repeat the second circuit again (optional)

2-Minute Cool-Down and Stretch

  • Jump rope slowly or jog in place and stretch your muscles for 2 minutes.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

To do high-intensity interval training, pick from the following list of aerobic exercises:

  • Jogging
  • Rowing
  • Swimming
  • Stair climbing
  • Cycling
  • Elliptical machine workouts

To do HIIT training, simply:

  • Exercising at low intensity to warm up for 2 minutes.
  • Stay at a low intensity or bump up the intensity level to medium for 1-2 minutes.
  • Switch to a high-intensity pace for 30-60 seconds.
  • Alternate between low-intensity and high-intensity exercise bouts for a total of at least 20 minutes (or longer if you have the time).

HIIT helps you lean out, improve cardiovascular endurance, and keep chronic disease risks as low as possible.

Strength Training Workouts

Consider adding some of the following strength exercises into your daily weekly routine.

Use resistance bands, dumbbells, barbells, or your own body weight as resistance to complete the following muscle-sculpting exercises:

  • Legs, butt, and calf exercises: narrow-stance squats, wide-stance squats, walking lunges, standing lunges, calf raises, squat jumps, wall squat holds, squat to press with dumbbells, squats with overhead medicine ball throws, resistance-band standing leg raises, and squat kicks
  • Upper and lower back exercises: dumbbell or barbell deadlifts, bent-over reverse flys, bent-over one-arm dumbbell rows, and back extensions
  • Shoulder exercises: standing upright rows with dumbbells, dumbbell shoulder press, lateral raises, front raises, and resistance band upright rows
  • Arm exercises: biceps curls with dumbbells or barbells, biceps curls with resistance bands, triceps extensions with bands or dumbbells, triceps dips, and triceps kickbacks with dumbbells or resistance bands
  • Chest exercises: Dumbbell chest press, barbell bench press, pushups, dumbbell flys, and resistance band flys
  • Abdominal exercises: crunches, oblique crunches, sit-ups, V-ups, leg raises, traditional planks, plank jacks, side planks, and shoulder-touch planks

Aim to complete at least two sets of 8-20 repetitions for each strength-building exercise, depending on your fitness goals.

Try to work on each major muscle group at least twice weekly to maximize muscle building or muscle mass maintenance.

It's perfectly fine to complete abdominal exercise daily, or at least most days of each week, to achieve or maintain six-pack abs.

Long Steady Cardio Workouts

Choose one or two days each week to complete lower-intensity, long cardio sessions to maximize heart health and fat-burning.

Long cardio days could last 40, 60, or even 75 minutes, depending on your fitness level and time commitment.

Keep your pace at a low to moderate intensity to ensure you're able to finish longer workouts without taking rest breaks or experiencing extreme fatigue.

Cycling Workouts

Whether you have a Peloton bike at home, another type of stationary bike, or an outdoor bike, consider adding at-home cycling to your busy weekly routine.

You might also prefer in-person spinning classes or virtual cycling workouts with real instructors.

Cycling workouts provide a variety of health and wellness benefits, such as improved cardiovascular health, fat-burning, and muscle-building (especially in your lower body).

Being able to cycle from the comfort of home makes it easier to avoid skipping workouts.

Get the program 50,891 guys over 40 are using to get results like these

Yoga Exercises

Don't feel embarrassed about adding yoga to workouts for busy dads.

Yoga helps tone, strengthen, and stretch your body.

It also reduces stress and can improve your overall fitness level.

Try these yoga exercises to help you get started!

Playing Sports

Playing basketball, soccer, hockey, football, or any other highly active sport is the perfect workout for busy dads.

It allows you to have fun, maintain a social life, and get fit all at once.

Join a local sports league or play sports with your kids to get or stay in shape, build muscle, burn fat, and spend quality time with loved ones.

Active Hobbies

Even the busiest dads need time to relax, unwind, and enjoy life, as doing so is crucial to maximizing your mental health.

If you have a busy schedule, choose active hobbies to keep your body moving as much as possible.

Such hobbies (and workouts) for busy dads to consider include hiking, skiing, snowboarding, water skiing, rollerblading, cycling, bowling, and playing golf.

Carry your clubs vs. using a cart to maximize calorie expenditure.

Activities of Daily Living

In addition to planned exercise, add at least 45 minutes of daily living activities into a busy routine to keep your metabolism going strong.

  • Shop
  • Cook at home
  • Do the dishes
  • Clean or vacuum floors
  • Clean out the garage
  • Wash windows or mirrors
  • Mow the grass with a push mower
  • Rake leaves
  • Shovel snow
  • Walk the dog
  • Do laundry
  • Play outside with your kids
  • Garden

Keep your body moving as much as you can throughout the day and sit down less often to burn extra calories, keep your blood pumping, and reduce the risk of gaining weight.

Mini Sculpting Exercises

To sculpt your muscles and maintain high energy levels throughout the day, do mini calorie-burning exercises as often as you can.

Try the following simple sculpting exercises when you're at work, at kids' sports games, at home, or whenever you have an opportunity to do them!

  • Traditional squats
  • Wall squats or sits
  • Glute squeezes
  • Abdominal muscle flexes
  • Stair climbs
  • Leg raises
  • Plank holds
  • Calf raises or holds
  • Pushups
  • V-up holds

Add mini exercises to your daily routine, not just during scheduled exercise sessions.

Doing mini exercises here and there throughout the day can dramatically improve your physique and energy levels.

See the program 38,000 guys over 40 are using to get results like these

Workouts for Busy Dads: Tips for Success!

Workouts for busy dads are simple with the right tools in place!

Try the following tips to make activities of daily living, scheduled exercise sessions, and mini exercises happen during your everyday routine.

Change Your Mindset

Change your mindset before you begin new lifestyle habits.

Strategically plan exercise sessions to keep your body moving often throughout the day.

Make exercise and activities of daily living a top priority.

If you do take a day off from planned exercise, keep your body moving in other ways.

Make a Plan and Stick to it

Develop your schedule to include exercise in a daily routine and stick to the plan as much as possible.

Add exercise, activities of daily living, and mini exercises to your daily planner, and check these activities off your list as you complete them.

The list could include 20-30 minutes of planned exercise, 5-10 add-in mini exercises, and 45 minutes of activities of daily living.

Develop a regular bedtime, specific meal patterns, and stress-reduction strategies, and stick to the routine as best you can.

Track hours of sleep, activity, and other health goals you set for yourself.

Sleep at Least 7 Hours

To be able to stick with workouts for busy dads, make sleep one of your top priorities.

Sleep is just as important as exercise, healthy eating, and stress reduction.

Getting high-quality sleep reduces your risk of weight gain, as poor sleep alters hormones in your body that make you hungrier.

Go to bed at the same time each night, allow yourself 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep, sleep in a cool dark room, and avoid alcohol and caffeine late in the day.

Don't go to bed hungry or too full.

See a doctor if you struggle with sleep apnea and use a white noise machine if you're a light sleeper.

Exercise When You First Wake Up

You don't have to exercise early in the day, but doing so can give you a boost of energy and get your day started off right.

Even if you only have time for 10-20 minutes of planned exercise in the morning, complete it to give your metabolism a boost.

You might add in extra workouts or other activities later in the day when you have more time.

Break Up Workouts into Smaller Sessions

If your schedule doesn't allow for longer workouts, break up planned exercise into two or three smaller sweat sessions.

For example, if you're too busy to complete 30-minute workouts, do several 10- or 15-minute exercise sessions instead.

Doing smaller mini sessions is just as effective for improving your health and fitness level as doing one longer workout.

Keep track of total minutes spent exercising, as well as minutes spent doing mini exercises and activities of daily living.

Sit Down Less Often

Whether you have a busy schedule or not, stand instead of sitting down whenever you have a chance.

If you're at work, consider using a sit-stand desk.

You might stand up instead of sitting down when watching kids' sports games or spending time with family and friends.

Changes positions (from sitting to standing) as often as you can and get creative to find ways to sit down less often.

Walk instead of standing when you can find time to squeeze it in!

Be Active During Your Lunch Break

Stay active on your lunch break to get in as much physical activity as possible!

Even if you have just 10-20 minutes to spare during your lunch break, take advantage of every opportunity to climb stairs, go for a walk, or do squats or calf raises.

If your office building has an on-site gym, use it during your lunch break and eat lunch at your desk.

Is your home or office within walking distance of a healthy restaurant?

If so, walk to and from the restaurant during your lunch break instead of driving!

See the programs 38,000 guys over 40 are using to get results like these

Erin Coleman, B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Father Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

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*Please know that weight loss results and health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on workouts for busy dads.

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

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